Executives gave their final reports, new council introduced at KSA AGM
The March 31 AGM wrapped up the KSA’s 2022 to 2023 council and executive terms
Correction: A previous version of this article stated Guntas Kochar’s last name is Shokar. The Runner regrets the error.
The Kwantlen Student Association held its annual general meeting on March 31 at the Surrey campus in the Fir 128.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 12:00 pm, however the meeting did not commence until 12:20 pm when a quorum was met with 83 students present — a minimum of 60 was required.
President and VP University Affairs Armaan Dhillon, VP External Affairs Karan Singh, VP Finance and Operations Lesli Sangha, and VP Student Life Guntas Kochar were in attendance.
Titus Gregory, speaker of council, began the meeting with a land acknowledgment and reviewed meeting procedures.
On the agenda were several special resolutions to be voted on by the student body.
A “Student Union Debenture Authorization” motion called for approval for the KSA to borrow money from a third party for the development of the new student union building (SUB) but needed 100 students in attendance to be voted on.
There were also several KSA bylaw amendments on the agenda such as “Councillor Non-Attendance” and “Mandatory orientation sessions.” These motions required 150 students present to be voted on.
A quorum of 100 students or more was not met, so these motions were not discussed.
The KSA’s audited financial statements for 2022 were presented by accountant Gary Wozney from Tompkins Woznet LLP. The statements were approved and Tompkins Wozney LLP was re-appointed as the KSA’s auditors for 2023.
In her report, Sangha detailed the success she has seen throughout the two terms she served as VP Finance and Operations. She said she worked to ensure accuracy and accountability with the release of student funds, led the development of financial recommendations to council through an inclusive and diverse approach, was an active liaison between the KSA’s executive director and council members, and brought awareness to inconsistencies with KSA processes and policies.
Through her role as students with disabilities rep, she removed barriers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University by bringing awareness to various challenges and gaps in policies people with disabilities encounter.
Sangha created an on-campus equity, diversity, and inclusion initiative for students, staff, and faculty which was recognized by KPU. She also co-authored Cases on Social Issues: For Class Discussion – 2nd Edition, an open education resource to help students deal with ethical issues relating to discrimination, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social issues.
She was chosen to receive the 2022 KPU PDEC JEDI Award and the KPU Alumni Association’s 2021 Future Alumni Award.
As a director and executive committee member of the Alliance of BC Students, Sangha advocated for matters directly affecting students and managed to eliminate interest on student loans and secure $450 million for student housing.
“During my roles at the KSA, I’ve been passionate and driven when it comes to advocating for students’ success, students rights, and student engagement,” Sangha said. “Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to serve the needs of all students.”
Kochar discussed what she accomplished as VP student life since her appointment in mid-October. She managed and planned various campus events to bring students together such as student mixers, movie nights, a women’s day event, and cultural events like the “KSA Plays Cupid” Valentine’s Day event, and “Let’s Chat,” an educational seminar that focused on breaking down the stigma around mental health and drug use.
Throughout her term, Kochar also worked with the KSA Clubs Coordinator Gurnoor Virk and was able to increase the number of student clubs from under 20 to 27. She also says she advocated for more study space on campus, better mental health resources, and more access to academic advisors.
“As a student, I will continue working to improve campus life, expand access to career resources, and foster greater diversity and inclusion,” Kochar said. “I’m proud that I was committed to serving you to the best of my abilities, and thank you so much for entrusting me with the role of vice president.”
During his report, Singh detailed the work he’s done as VP external affairs throughout his term. Singh said he worked to build strong relationships with other organizations and people who share the commitment to student advocacy and empowerment.
Singh acted as a liaison between KPU and Surrey RCMP to create an environment where students and police can be on the same page. He went to Parliament Hill in Ottawa where he met with other Canadian student delegates to discuss the priorities and challenges students are facing, and attended the Racialized and Indigenous Student Experience Summit to learn how student leaders can better support racialized students on campus.
He was also elected as a voting member of the college and polytechnics advisory group of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and advisory committee in which he expressed how the Canadian and provincial governments can better support post-secondary students.
“Over the past year, I have worked tirelessly to ensure that KPU remains an organization that is dedicated to the needs of our student body,” Singh said. “I’m proud to say that through our efforts we have been able to make a real difference in the lives of the KPU students.”
Dhillon discussed the work he has done throughout his term as president and VP university affairs in his report.
He attended multiple meetings and events to advocate for the needs of students such as meeting with KPU deans to discuss issues of limited course information, Members of Parliament to discuss what needs to be done for students in terms of mental health and affordable education and housing, and club presidents to find strategies to improve campus life at KPU.
Dhillon also attended the Atlantic Racialized and Indigenous Students Experience Forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing racialized and Indigenous students in post-secondary education.
He met with the parliamentary secretary for the minister of immigration, Sean Fraser, to advocate for a streamlined process for international students to obtain Co-Op positions, and met with the Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Selina Robinson to discuss the need for increased funding for post-secondary education and how to support students in accessing affordable housing and mental health resources.
“It has been an honour and a privilege to represent [KPU students’] interests and advocate on their behalf,” Dhillon said. “I will always cherish the memories and experiences I have created during my time as the KSA president and I look forward to seeing the continued growth and success of the organization in the future.”
At the end of their terms, the executives attended CASA’s AGM in Halifax, Nova Scotia where they moved two motions: “Policy A33: Food Security for post-secondary students” and “Policy Q24: Sexual violence and harassment on campus.”
Dhillon also introduced the new KSA council for the 2023 to 2024 term. Asad Husain was elected as the Civic Plaza campus rep, Jashandeep Singh was elected as the Cloverdale campus rep, Jashanpreet Sekhon was elected as the Langley campus rep, Jashanpreet Singh Maan was elected as the Richmond campus rep, and Mehakdeep Singh was elected as the Surrey campus rep.
Adhullah Randhawa was elected as the international students rep, Gurtejpreet Kaur Kaliyan was elected as the mature students rep, Destiny Lang was elected as the queer students rep, Jaspreet Shokar was elected as the students of colour rep, Upeksha (Usha) Gunatilake was elected as the students with disabilities rep, and Gurnoor Kaur was elected as the women’s rep.
Yugveer Gill,, Jasmine Kaur Kochhar, and Jobanpreet Singh were elected as Faculty of Arts reps, Nitin Aggarwal, Amandeep (Aman) Brar, Manraj Grewal, Amitoj Singh, and Taranpreet (Bumrah) Singh were elected as Faculty of Business reps, and Akashdeep (Akash) Sidhu and Akashdeep Singh were elected as Faculty of Science and Horticulture reps.
The meeting adjourned at 3:17 pm.
The first council meeting with the newly elected council members is scheduled on April 21 at 10:00 am in hybrid format. Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org to join.